Can your kitchen layout cut your calories and help with cancer prevention?

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Can seeing food in your kitchen and easy serving make a difference in how much you eat? A study authored by an architect and an environmental psychologist published this month suggests that may be an unintended outcome of the popular open kitchen design in homes.

That’s important because how many calories you eat affects your weight, and that affects cancer risk.

Published in Environment and Behavior the authors looked at how much the open plan – easy to see the food and get to the buffet – affected the amount of food participants (57 university students) ate, compared to a closed plan. For one dinner they ate in the open plan, for another they ate in the closed plan. They used a university food and dining research lab and made it mimic a closed plan by putting decorative wooden screens to block the diners’ view of food. Read more… “Can your kitchen layout cut your calories and help with cancer prevention?”

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    Health Talk: How many vegetables should I be eating? What about my kids?

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    Q: I keep seeing recommendations about cups of vegetables, but I’m confused about how many I should be eating. What about my kids?

    A: If you’re like most adults, you should be aiming for 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day, as seen in the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern from the Dietary Guidelines. This amount also holds for children ages 9 and older. Targets for children age 8 and under, are less – about 1 to 1.5 cups a day.

    “Cups” of vegetables mostly refers to a portion equal to one measuring cup for raw or cooked vegetables. For lettuce, spinach or other raw leafy vegetables however, two cups count as a cup. A medium carrot, celery stalk and small pepper each count as half a cup. If you don’t want to measure, an average adult fist is a rough guide to a 1-cup portion. So you can aim for one to two fist-size portions of vegetables at lunch and dinner each day. Read more… “Health Talk: How many vegetables should I be eating? What about my kids?”

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      Flavor Up Your Family’s Snacks with Herbs and Spices

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      Getting your kids to eat fresh, whole foods could be as simple as getting a little creative in the kitchen! By using herbs and spices, you can alter the flavor profile of any food to satisfy the taste buds of the pickiest eater. Herbs add a burst of flavor and texture to any food, while spices can heat things up or simply add some complexity to a simple dish. The added benefit is that herbs and spices allow you to use less salt when cooking!

      kids activities blogThis is a huge perk for parents, because children 6 to 18 years old consume about 3,300 mg of salt per day, while the recommended amount is 2,300 mg or less. By preparing vegetable-based, savory s­nacks at home with herbs and spices, you’re helping to cut back on the amount of sodium they’re consuming from sweets and other processed choices. You’ll be doing yourself a favor, too, by cutting back on your own salt consumption. Plus herbs and spices are packed with phytochemicals that have health promoting properties!

      Here are some ideas to help incorporate these flavor purveyors into your home and kitchen. Get ready to spice up your menu this summer and cut back on sodium! Read more… “Flavor Up Your Family’s Snacks with Herbs and Spices”

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